If you are confused that ten year old research methods are unreliable still used today, you are not alone. Animal testing has always been an example of bad science, and a new article published by PETA scientists, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other international experts shows once again that tests that do not use live animals can contribute to animal welfare. as well as human health.
Tests on live rabbits cause suffering.
PETA scientists and their co-authors studied the Draize eye test, which was developed in 1944. In it, experimenters apply chemicals to the eyes of live rabbits and usually leave the affected area (s) unwashed for 24 hours or more. In this experiment, rabbits may experience severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or blurred vision, and may even be blinded in the eye being tested. The animals are then killed or used again in the same painful tests.
Animal testing‘t good science.
Despite the scientific limitations of the Draize Eye Test, the EPA obtains data from over 200 of these tests each year for pesticides used in the United States. A rabbit eye test is known to fail to produce consistent results, even if consistency is a fundamental aspect of any good test… In addition, you may have noticed that there are significant differences between rabbits and humans. For example, did you know that rabbits have a third eyelid?
The problem to be solved
Scientists must compare the results of new non-animal methods directly with conflicting data from flawed animal tests to validate the new methods. This means that if a new, better method is developed, it will be perceived as wrong because the results do not match the old, flawed animal test. Obviously, using flawed animal tests as the gold standard for comparison gets in the way of good science.
PETA Scientists and Other Experts Offer a Win-Win Solution
This article challenges the status quo: it calls on the scientific community to rethink how we prove the scientific validity of new methods that should be evaluated for how well they reflect human biology, rather than how well they mimic unreliable animal tests from a decade ago. …
In the article, PETA scientists and their fellow experts from government agencies and private laboratories examined how relevant tests on rabbits and tests that do not use live animals are relevant for humans. They found that the methods that did not use live rabbits were, if not more, mirrored human biology, and their results were more consistent.… The authors concluded that new methods should be adopted now to replace the rabbit test, thus preventing the alleged 600 rabbits from use in pesticide tests every year in the United States only. Some of these testing methods, which do not use live rabbits, have already been approved by the EPA for testing certain types of substances.
The implications are clear: it’s time to stop using the rabbit eye test and stop comparing new, reliable and human-friendly testing methods with faulty animal tests. PETA scientists are now working to ensure that more human-friendly methods that do not use live rabbits can be used in the US and around the world – and you might help too.
How to help rabbits in the lab
Be on the scientific side and avoid buying from companies testing their products on animals:
Check out the PETA Beauty Without Bunnies Database